Covert Affairs Bosses on the "Bittersweet" Finale and What's Next for Annie and Auggie
Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham
[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from the Season 2 finale of Covert Affairs. Read at your own risk.]
It finally happened. Annie (Piper Perabo) made a move for Auggie (Christopher Gorham) on the Season 2 Covert Affairs finale — only to get her heart broken. Not that Auggie was aware of it, of course, after giving Annie his Corvette while he jetted off to Eritrea to pursue his relationship with Parker (Devin Kelley).
But that wasn't the only big development: Auggie got the bad news that he's not a suitable candidate for eye surgery to regain his sight, and Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy) outed his dad Henry (Gregory Itzin) as the CIA leak and his big, bad plan to seize Joan's job.
What's in store for Annie and Auggie? Is there a love triangle in the works? And how will Jai go about dethroning Joan (Kari Matchett)? Co-creators/co-executive producers Chris Ord and Matt Corman answer our burning questions about the finale and tell us what we can expect in Season 3.
VIDEO: Covert Affairs' Sendhil Ramamurthy: What Jai does is "pretty severe"
How did you decide to start the Annie-Auggie story line now?
Matt: I think it's the right time to create a complication for them. Fans have been wanting this for a while and it was too early then, but now was the right time for one or the other to kind of be a little brave and express their truer feelings, and that's what Annie did. Part of falling in love and being in love is taking chances and making yourself vulnerable. It's very human and very admirable. I think the ending's sad, but it's satisfying on some levels. We were hoping for bittersweet.
Parker is still in the picture. Are she and Auggie still going to be together?
Chris: He's very serious about Parker. We never mislead, so he is going to go [to Eritrea], but he can't stay there, obviously, so that's going to be difficult. The journey he's going to go on is great next season with Parker and just with himself. He made a lot of big choices in the finale and that's going to carry over.
Will he realize his feelings for Annie or will Annie make hers known?
Matt: He's pursuing this relationship with Parker right now and Annie respects that. She's not a willful home wrecker so there won't be a torrid affair or anything. ... In our mind, Annie and Auggie are star-crossed in the truest sense in that one or the other may be in touch with their feelings at any one point, but so far they haven't synced up. I think what people do sometimes is they express themselves to see what it feels like in that moment. She just said, "You're the person I want to talk to," but then he let her know where his head was at.
Chris: Their relationship is going to be tested. Annie shot somebody in the finale and that will have an effect on her psyche, and Auggie's dealing with his own issues. She's an emotional person, but she's calculating. I don't think she's going to break down, but that's always the battle with her. What's great about her is that she doesn't always want to hide her emotions. ... Also while she knows there's a woman out there, she doesn't really know much about his relationship with Parker because it's not a topic they get into very much. As evidenced when Auggie found out about Dr. Scott through Danielle (Anne Dudek), they don't talk about their relationships with each other. And that's telling. When you have a friendship where you're holding that element back, I think you both are obviously feeling something for one another, but not acting on it.
Auggie's usually very intuitive about Annie, but he was completely off here. Is this a sign of more obstacles in their way?
Chris: This was intended to be the first moment where he's really not being intuitive. We wanted their relationship to change. ... He's in his own headspace — he has one foot out the door to Africa — and he'll continue to be in Season 3.
Matt: I would say it's just from what he's gone through in the episode. While he is comfortable with his blindness, he would still like to see. By doing the MRI, you can't help but get your hopes up. To have those hopes dashed is painful. He's been caught up in that. He's not dense, but he's got his own issues and it's fair for him to have his own issues.
Covert Affairs' Kari Matchett: Joan won't try to get rid of Jai again
You guys and Chris have always said you don't want Auggie to regain his sight. Is that still the plan?
Matt: Yes. He's wrestling with these issues, but for us, it's more interesting to see someone come to terms with a disability or a life-changing accident. I think you can always question it. I think to blithely accept something like this is disingenuous. People who are in this situation try to make the best of it and enjoy their lives, but part of it is railing against it from time to time. But to actually reinvent the character would be distasteful. For us, it's the journey he's going through is more magical than any surgery that can make him sighted.
Chris: We want to explore the side of Auggie that if he can see, he'd like to see. I think why he [went to the doctor] was part Parker and part Annie. He has multiple reasons to see. He's never actually seen Annie, if you realize. While he has a sense of who she is, I think there's an element of Annie that contributed to that.
What about Annie's love life? Will she have any love interests? We haven't seen Ben in a while.
Chris: Maybe Ben (Eion Bailey) will be back! We can say she will have love interests — old and new. Let everyone speculate!
Let's get to Jai. Has his plan gone perfectly so far? Is Joan's job his actual goal?
Chris: It's pretty much gone according to plan, but the further along you go in a plan like this, the more complicated it's going to get. We've only begun to see the true Jai story. In Season 3, it's going to evolve in a way people won't expect. ... Joan's job is what he thinks he wants. I think what happens is when you think you want something big, it's a cautionary tale. If you go down the path of trying to get it, it might not be at all what you think it is and you may not be up for it.
How is he going to go after Joan? Auggie even told him he's alienated everyone there.
Matt: It's also a dog-eat-dog world in the CIA. If he gains enough momentum, he can make it happen. He's gotten himself here and I think he has some idea how to get further. He's going to go through all of it to get to Joan — missions, inquests. He's made it clear he's doing it. He's told Arthur (Peter Gallagher). It's like in basketball when you tell someone what you're going to do and then you do it. That's a mind game.
Will we see Henry again — in or out of jail?
Chris: Henry will be back. I can't say how, but he's definitely not gone. And Jai thinks the "stink of nepotism" is gone, but it's not. His legacy is never going to go away and that will be more apparent as he goes forward [with his plan]. It's about managing and dealing with that.
Covert Affairs' Chris Gorham on Auggie's new girlfriend: It's a very complicated relationship
Arthur's in a precarious position. Will he tell Joan what's going on?
Chris: You'll see him weighing these choices. His relationship with Joan is strong enough where he could tell her, but Arthur is actually more concerned about Jai. There's a side of Arthur that is a father figure to Jai. I mean, he's worried about Jai taking Joan's job for sure, but he's worried about Jai as a person and what he can do to help him.
What's in store for Joan besides Jai going after her job?
Matt: We're going to explore some of Joan's backstory. We haven't strung it together yet ... but she'll be out in the field again. We're hoping it will be on location. We've enjoyed the location shooting. If it makes sense for stories, we'll continue to go away.
Have you considered having a long-term villain instead of standalone villains?
Matt: Yes. That's actually what we're figuring out now. We're going to be dovetailing into more long-arc storytelling in Season 3. I think it's something our audience will invest in. We're at the point now where we can start to do more in-depth weaving of narrative.
Sendhil's all about having an ab-off with Chris and Peter. Will you write that in?
Chris: [Laughs] That might be its own spin-off. Where would they be shirtless? In the gym?
Matt: Yeah, that's more of a spin-off aerobics show. Just so you know, Chris and I have our shirts off right now.
Chris: I would temper your enthusiasm for that though!